tv [untitled] June 17, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT
i coached a soccer team when i was out of high school. none of those kids got hurt, but i could recall, playing on grass. i was a gardener for 14 years for the city. that ground is like rock. i encourage you not to listen to people who do not understand the reality of turf because i know what it is to work on grass. thank you very much. >> next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. i am the founder of the parks council and former commission member on the commission for the environment. a member of the golden gate park master plan task force.
i am a soccer proponent and i support the renovation of the beach chalet. however, i am also trained in planning. this project, as proposed, it is in violation with almost every plan for this part of the city, including golden gate park. in regards to this master plan, the former park planner is also on the public record saying that she believes this plan is in violation of the golden gate park master plan. we should also -- what should also be a red flag before but the commission's is the fact that to -- there is lack of consideration for the other major land owner at this part of the city, namely the national park service.
it has not been addressed by the recreation and park department. despite the fact that there are alternatives to address the issue, they also have heard nothing to this a fact. the alternatives are there with other sites and other considerations, even some kind of approaches that would make the opponents to this project feel that their concerns have been hurt. to date, we have heard nothing. one has to question why. the rumors out there, this is all about money, not about kids. please vote against this environmental impact report, thank you. >> i am going to call a couple of more speakers. [reading names]
>> i feel little wonky after all those incredible presentations by the kids. i want to talk about the eir on hazardous materials and -- on hazardous materials. i've worked in the area of health care for over 30 years. this eir has in correctly concluded that the rigid that it poses no significant health threats. there was very little research and even got research indicated there are significant health risks. one study cited the exposure to toxic vapors increased cancer risks. that was not considered. concerns about the research included the fact that the risks were mis calculated. the number of studies reviewed
were too limited. a comprehensive analysis of all the components was not considered. the cumulative and long-term effects of exposure was not studied. in view of the defects in the research and the consequences of letting our children play on these fields when we really do not know if they are safe, i request that you do not certify the eir as written. these incredible kid who came here today needed chance to play soccer on safe fields. not on toxic fields. i want to protect these children from harm. let's not use them as a guinea pigs in an experience -- in an experiment back could cause them a life time of pain. thank you very much. >> [reading names]
if you are ready, thank you. >> good evening, commissioners. i urge you not to certify the eir. we have heard from a lot of wonderful kids and families who want to play soccer. we have poured from a lot of people who value the beautiful park -- we have heard from a lot of people who value the beautiful park. the problem is the eir. it has set up a false sense of choice is because it has rejected all possible alternatives. let me point out to you that the beach chalet are 7.2 acres and will cost $11.4 million to construct. eight blocks to the south, there
is west sunset playground, 9.2 acres. it is scheduled to be on the 2012 bonds for financing, $13.2 million to put in grass soccer fields. why not just swap the two locations, and give the kids their soccer, and protect the park, it is a win-win solution. it does not cost any more money. it gives almost the same albers of play. everybody is happy -- same hours of play. everybody is happy. please consider that. the current eir is deeply flawed because the goals are engineered to be so narrow that they force you into a false choice. a false argument that we do not
have to have. it is a tragedy. thank you very much. >> good evening. i am an environmental lawyer. i filed this comment letter. i am representing the sierra club, the audubon society, the environmental and education committee, and richmond community association. i am also a coach. i coached my son's little league team. my wife coaches my daughter's little league team. i care about kids. i believe that kids need more playing fields, but i also believe that kids need natural environments to enjoy nature. western end of golden gate park is one of the last of those. we need to protect it.
we do not have to choose between soccer and nature. we can have both. our organizations are urging the city to do a supplemental eir to consider an alternative that would restore the beach chalet with natural grass and better drainage. to install artificial turf, but safe artificial turf, at west sunset. that would give -- we would have more artificial turf with lighting at west sunset. at least as many played hours. we could have both. we could protect san francisco's crown jewel. we need to protect that. we can provide even more soccer field at west son said while
protecting this special environment. -- sunset law protecting this special environment. that area will be gone and spoiled for ever. we do not have to make this false choice. >> next speaker, please. >> the primary purpose of golden gate park, yes, it is recreation. what are we nearly defining recreation to be only the active sports the teams play and that teams must play in various locations until 10:00? my idea is that if you define recreation as both active in those team sports and passive, fly a kite, read about, look at birds, enjoy the sound of the ocean.
those are the passive recreation uses. of course, the master plan says the park should be for recreation. many people are here because they believe this project is for the children. i live very nearby. every day, i walk my dog very near these on athletic fields. sometimes on the path that connects the two windmills. i am very familiar with the site. i have never seen a pothole. remember, you do not need a super sophisticated drainage system. you do not need artificial certification -- artificial turf. you can engineer real grass. it is a win-win situation. look at everything.
just don't look at the way the project is configured for an up- down on soccer at the playing field. it can be done, thank you. >> good evening. i agree that more soccer time is needed in san francisco. the soccer fields need to be upgraded. the problem, for me, is that thr change to golden gate park. many feel it is inappropriate and unnecessary because alternatives are available. the proposed site on the western edge of the city where families are choosing to live. we have more children in our neighborhoods than we have ever had. parents interested in living in the city and commuting to work, they want every day access to
nature to get away from development and other areas of the city. the western end of the park provides that access. the golden gate bridge and golden gate park are both icons. the bridge is a magnificent gateway to san francisco. it is an magnificent gave way to the ocean. the wind mill has undergone multimillion-dollar renovations. the intrusion of the sports complex with artificial turf and stadium lighting would mar the setting. i urge the commission to consider alternatives which would create an overall increase in soccer time and maintain the western edge of the park. that is the intent of the master plan. thank you.
good afternoon, commissioners. i am a 40-year resident of san francisco. i am a commissioner on animal control and we have heard this issue, up several months ago. i'm surprised to see what a big deal it has become. it is interesting to hear all the comments. the kids were really cute. i saw your faces smiling. us adults are here to say something else.
i am opposed to this plan to cut turf on here. the other alternative about the when when of the sunset playground. it is very expensive, the lighting -- this is the west end of the park. it was designed to be left wild, not to be turned into something for kids to play. there other factors involved. there are other people. i was outnumbered by all the kids. i think my voice also needs to be heard. it is not about numbers, it is about other factors. it is not just majority rules. the kids are really cute, but i still am opposed to this plan.
excuse me. ok. i have trouble with my hearing dance. -- aids. the new lights will impact the neighborhood close to the western edge of the park. all the way across the park. these new lights will be three times as close. our old neighborhoods character will be -- our whole neighborhoods character will be a fact. -- affected. many professional sports fields have switched from artificial turf to a natural grass field. these fields would provide many more planning hours that are now available. we can employ the same approach
and enjoy the same benefits to accommodate our many soccer players. i totally support the good, natural grass fields that are used in the daytime. thank you. president fong: next speaker, please? >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is rossa moss and after this huge parade, wonderful, of children i kept listening if there was any child since they obviously were well informed about the matter, who would have a different point of view and nobody spoke up except maybe two children with their parents for grass fields. so i would just like to relay a message from my grandson who is a soccer and little league player. he's 7 years old and playing soccer today on a grassy field and he wanted to come and say
that he doesn't want artificial turf because you hurt yourself when you slide on it and he really wants to play on grass. then other points have been made about the value of grass. i would just like to mention that there are many children here and they love sporkts but they also need something else, which is connection with nature. and that is getting more and more scarce. the two rare qualities that are really missing, especially in cities, is natural quiet and a night sky. one place where you get those is right there on the ocean and in the meadows around the fields. this is so precious as to be really valued and not to be lost, and that is what was provided by those who planned for golden gate park there. the one thing that's not mentioned and that's easy to forget with the many beautiful children is that they won't be the only ones playing there and who will play late at night?
and will these fields be actually a big income generator or is it really just for children? thank you. president fong: thank you. >> thank you, president fong and buell and other members of the planning and recreation and parks commission. i'm susan hirsch, with the city foundation. we started almost six years ago and our sole mission is to make sure there are enough safe, accessible sports fields right here in san francisco. as stated in the e.i.r. as you have heard tonight also, the city has very few fields for kids. there's a shortage. there simply are not enough fields for those kids who want to play. with rec -- rec and park we have worked hard to complete renovations in seven other parks all across san francisco. each of these parks have been
enormously popular with players and moat of the parks' neighbors. the proposed beach chalet is the first to undergo an e.i.r. and with rec and park we willingly requested additional review leading to an e.i.r. which confirmed that this project is safe for people, the environment, the park and for kids and that's exactly what the e.i.r. found. this project will have practically no environmental impacts. the e.i.r. thoroughly examined many of the issues you will hear abouted tooze -- today. it's very comprehensive and very data-driven. this renovation has been studied extensively the past two years and we've had an abundance of participation. this is a good project for our kids and for our city. you've heard a lot today about families with kids leaving the city. i raised two here and it's not always as you -- easily -- easy but the city haze lot to offer.
let's give them one more reason to stay, the safe, high quality fields. thank you very much. >> good evening, commissioners. i'm linda, a 43-year resident of san francisco, a mother and a grandmother of children who play soccer. i live in district 11 which is home to the crocker amazon play fields which you heard a lot, quite a bit about today and hopefully soon the levy ward fields. these are going to be synthetic fields. the community wanted those fields and that was their desire. however, after seeing the reviews about the beach chalet i'm more and more convinced that this is the wrong location for synthetic field turf. it goes against everything with golden gate's master plan and the feeling in the communities around the park that golden gate park is special and does not need to have synthetic fields. we don't know enough about these fields yet. we've got 10 years, less than 10 years under our belt
learning about how these fields are good going to be react and whether we're going to need more funds to keep them in shape. whereas with grass, by renovating the beach field with grass we have the opportunity to do all those wonderful amenities, the bathrooms, all the parking, the issues that other people brought up that could make this a classy field for everyone to use if down the road soccer is not the main sport, if we want to turn it into something else. if you want to use this for multipurpose uses you've got that opportunity. once you turn it into synthetic fields, that's it and you have a limited use. thank you. president fong: calling more cards. patrick henin, ellen koss. andrea nelson. dick cross. maureen tarot. mary pat dord.
sheila ramirez. if you're ready -- well, they're working their way. if you're ready. >> my name is dr. ellie koss and i want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to take tonight. -- talk tonight. i've worked with at-risk youths throughout my life both on the field, coaching lacrosse, building new lacrosse programs both here and in northern california and in massachusetts. it's the fastest-growing sport, not only in the country but also in northern california. i've also worked with at-risk youths off the field, tutoring and with leadership development. i've also recently started a lacrosse program for both boys and for girls with the boys and girls club of san francisco. keeping our youth off the streets, occupied and healthy,
is key to a vital and healthy san francisco. both in the short term and the long run. currently many of the natural fields as you have heard in san francisco are home to a very large gopher population, make our fields dangerous and often wonderful, it's-up keep -- upkeep is sfens -- expensive and consumes enormous natural resources. the current general erakse of turf fields are safe, sustainable, and they reuse materials that normally would be slated for landfill or insineration. increasing the available field space will enable more youth in our city to have safe places to play, to build their character and contribute as productive citizens to a healthier and more vital san francisco. so in my view the only choice you have to -- is to approve this project. thank you.
>> hi, i'm jill lands berry with the san francisco nighthawks. i'm speaking in behalf of dick cross. i have his notes. we have both coached the same team for many years. i've bain resident for 25 years and coached that entire time. i know everybody has been saying oshe, the children, the children, and making lighted of that, saying we're trying to use the children to get these fields. but you know what? adults need the fields too. i have a women's semipro team and if you watch them play the style stoove -- of play has increasinged tenfold since i was a kid. they play with such athleticism and muscle that to play on these fields with any sort of holes is possibly ending a career or a scholarship.
we're talking about a kid who is maybe a foster kid, from a low income family that's getting a chance to go to college so they can play. if they hurt themselves it's on me. it's my fault that they are now not able to go to college. i was at crocker amazon last night with our practice and it was overwhelming to look around and see all the teenagers and adults playing anding how necessary it is. when they first put it in, i was standing there talking to a gentleman what said i'm so grateful for this, i work owl day and i have children and i come home and i'm angry and i come around and run around the field for two hours and all of a sudden i'm a better father because i can go home and i'm not angry any more. it's important to look at the fact that adults need things too, and that's why the lights are important. because athleticism doesn't just stop at 6:00 p.m. people need some place to go after work. we need to have these fields ab
proved. thank you. president fong:next speaker? >> hi, my name is courtney johnson and i'm the director of cyo athletics. what the fields mean for our organization is we're able to provide access for kids all throughout san francisco particularly in the southeast part and it enables us to provide access. it allows us to do things in terms of teamwork and commitment and all the things kids need in order to survive later in life. so for us, particularly the girls' sports, because we want to provide access for them, it means having more space -- space and more fields. that field space is critical for our kids to go -- get that teamwork and self-esteem and commitment they need to be better citizens. thank you.
president fong: thank you. >> my name is cristine sali and i as -- also work at c.y.o., the catholic youth organization in athletics. i work with courtney and as courtney said, our third and -- children need fields. not only do we serve thousands of children in san francisco, but we're an extension for them to get out of the house to get off the blacktop play groufpbletds i know this is redundant and you've been hearing it all day. i'm also speaking as a native san franciscan and mother of four, trying desperately to stay in the city and raise my children in a healthy, safe environment. the safety issues brought up about artificial turf avoiding ankle injuries, well, renovating beach chalet will also be a safest -- safety -- have any of you ever been there after the sun goes down? it is pretty sketch as my kids
would say. it's bad. there is criminal activity as the police chief said. there's all kinds of really bad things going on at night in the western end of town. berenovating beach chalet that will go away, so please, please on behalf of the children, on behalf of the families, mip parents live out near beach chalet, please, please consider the renovation not just from an athletic safety standpoint but from a public safety standpoint. thank you. president fong: at this time our court reporter needs to take a break. we're going to take ed >> the joint neetlg for the planning commission and rec and park commission is back in session. we in -- were in public comment. >> if there are speakers iche called already, apoach the podium and i will call batches of names every now and then and